SCN11A variants may influence postoperative pain sensitivity after gynecological surgery in Chinese Han female patients

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Nav1.9, encoded by sodium voltage-gated channel alpha subunit 11 (SCN11A), is one of the main sodium channels involved in pain transmission. Dysfunction of Nav1.9 alters pain sensitivity, resulting in insensitivity to pain or familial episodic pain. Our purpose was to explore the effects of SCN11A single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on postoperative pain sensitivity in Chinese Han female patients after gynecological surgery.

Here, we combined the methods of tag SNPs and candidate SNPs. The associations between eleven SCN11A SNPs and basic pain sensitivity in female healthy volunteers were analyzed using the Plink software. The SNPs associated with basic pain sensitivity were termed positive SCN11A SNPs. The effect of these positive SNPs on postoperative pain sensitivity was explored in patients undergoing elective gynecological laparoscopic surgery and receiving postoperative patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). We assessed pain intensity using the numeric pain rating scale (NRS) and recorded PCA consumption.

Our results suggested that 5 SNPs (rs33985936, rs13080116, rs11720988, rs11709492, and rs11720013) in 11 tag and candidate SNPs were associated with basic pain sensitivity (P < .05). No evident association was found between the 5 positive SNPs and NRS (P > .05). However, among these positive SNPs, the minor alleles of rs33985936 and rs13080116 were significantly associated with increased PCA consumption (P < .01).

To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that SCN11A SNPs affect postoperative pain sensitivity in Chinese Han women after gynecological surgery. The SNP rs33985936 and rs13080116 may serve as novel predictors for postoperative pain.

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